Over The Labor Day Weekend

Posted in 2008 Primary, Around The Nation, Around The State, Democratic Events, Election 2008, Take Action, US Senate Race at 11:01 am by wcnews

Probably won’t be much posting this weekend unless something really grabs me. EOW will post a few items below that caught our “eye”. Happy Labor Day!!

Rick Noriega went over very well in the Metroplex yesterday, Rick Noriega in Dallas Yesterday.

Because in the reddest of red states, in the heart of maybe the most Republican state in the country, Rick Noriega looks like he can do the unthinkable: run as a Democrat for a statewide office and win. And after listening to him last night, I’m more convinced than ever.

Part of his appeal is his military bearing. The Texas National Guard lieutenant colonel and Afghanistan vet isn’t vulnerable to accusation of being “soft” on security. He can talk about running a convoy and setting up checkpoints because he’s been there. As he puts it, he knows the difference between an M203 and an M&M.

The campaign is also starting a grassroots effort to get 25,000 names on his petition for filing for the Senate. If you didn’t get the email it can be read here, it tells all about the effort and how to get started.

I also found this article from The Agonist pertinent and troubling,
Why Japan Is Eating America’s Lunch On Broadband.

Now, ten years ago Japan had slower internet than the US. So they looked to the US to see how to do it - and they saw that the US had open access laws (where in the old days, companies could buy access to the lines at wholesale rates - which is why there was an ISP on every corner in the 90’s) and decided they were key.

So they opened up broadband access - mandated that phone and cable lines had to be available to whoever wanted access.


Now here’s the thing. What we’re talking about is the Republican administration reducing competition. In a competitive market this wouldn’t have happened. When you’re dealing with a natural monopoly (and phone and cable lines are natural monopolies because driving more than one each to each home doesn’t make sense) you have to legislate the market in such a way as to make sure competition exists. The free market can’t do its thing if there isn’t a market - and in most of the US there isn’t a market. You have at best two possible suppliers. Often one. And in many areas - if you want “high” speed - none.

The modern “conservative” fallacy is that free markets means lack of government regulation. That isn’t even close to what it means - what it means is a market with many actors, relatively transparent information, and no one actor or group with pricing power, whether through collusion or monopoly.

The laws that made the US resistant to this sort of bullshit have either been taken away (open access) or have been weakend by the courts (for example the recent ruling that prices all being the same wasn’t prima facie evidence of price fixing, which it has been for the last, oh, over 100 years.)

When you don’t have competition, with few exceptions, you don’t get progress or better products. And so the US has worse broadband. It has worse wireless. It has worse (and deliberately crippled) phones. It’s falling behind in the very industry it invented. All because a few gatekeeper corporations don’t want to have to compete and because the Bush administration and conservative justices believe in concentration of wealth rather than progress and competition.

There’s more on this topic over at SaveTheInternet.

Just a couple of items for over the weekend to read. Be sure and print you petition before heading out for that weekend barbecue.

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